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How to choose the right topic for the definition essay?
However, the definition essay is not that hard as people think. The reason for the complexity of writing this paper is the lack of information because you need to give the definition of one single word. When you understand this reason, you can try to avoid it and choose the right term that gives much information to research. Here are some recommendations that will help you to choose the right word:
- Complexity. Don’t use simple words like “house”, “cat”, “pencil”, or similar ones with the obvious meaning. You should choose terms with the abstract meaning, such as “home”, “home”, “beauty”, etc.
- Disputable nature. It will be great if the chosen word has a different meaning for different people in various situations. For example, you can choose “privacy”, “courage”, or “fashion”. Nevertheless, although you analyze several meanings of the term, you must indicate and prove your own position.
- Familiarity. It is much easier to talk about familiar words than discover unknown ones. You can choose the topic of your daily life, such as “family”, “success”, or “marriage”.
- Dictionary definition. After you choose the word, it is time to check it in the dictionary. It will allow you to understand how much information you can get and compare your meaning of the chosen term with the academic one. For instance, you can check “dream”, “laziness”, or “heroism”.
- Background. Do you know the history of the chosen word? You can check the Oxford English Dictionary or any similar one for the origin of the word. It will help you to choose the right term, and give enough information for the entire paragraph.
If you apply the 5-step method, it will be easy for you to find the appropriate term. Next, it is time to write the outline. Similar to the rest types of essays, the definition paper includes the introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion. Meanwhile, it has specific features. Let’s see how you should write the definition essay outline.
The definition essay outline
1. The introduction. The first paragraph informs the reader about main ideas and the purpose of the paper. Its goal is to attract reader’s attention and make him read the entire article.
- The hook (optional). This sentence can include some interesting facts, rhetorical questions, or any other unexpected information.
- The generally accepted definition. Due to the fact that you chose a complex word with various meaning, you should give a starting point to your readers. Write the dictionary version of the term.
- The thesis statement. The classical thesis statement reveals the main idea of your essay. The definition paper is not an exception; you should write your definition of the word and explain why it is better than the original one in this section.
2. The body. This section includes all arguments and evidence that help you to prove your statement. It breaks down the word into components and analyzes each of them separately. Note, one body paragraph must include only one idea. Don’t confuse your audience.
- The first body paragraph: the history of the term and its origin. This information can be taken from the etymological dictionary like the Oxford English Dictionary.
- The second body paragraph: analysis of dictionary definitions. Use as many dictionaries as possible. If you have an opportunity to visit the library, do it. Otherwise, it will be enough to check dictionaries in the Internet.
- The third body paragraph: personal definition based on experience. Think about the chosen word. How can you describe it? What does it mean to you?
3. The conclusion. The conclusion paragraph is the summary of all your ideas and arguments. As a result, you ought to restate the thesis and emphasize the fact that it was proved. In addition, it will be great to tell the story about how this word affected your life.
Another way to write the definition essay
As you may see, these recommendations will help you to choose the right topic, collect the necessary material, write the outline, and the entire article. However, if you don’t have time or desire to do it by yourself, you can use the professional help.
You can also read our essay conclusion recommendations that really works!